28
Dec
14

2014: Madame Soph’s Most Memorable Moments

by Madam Soph

****

January 14th

PBO announces NSA reforms, once again demonstrating the difference between actions and words

****

February 11th

FLOTUS’ gorgeous dress at the French State Dinner:

 Stephen Colbert was seated next to FLOTUS, the place normally reserved for the First Lady of France:

 ****

February 12

PBO signs executive order raising minimum wage for federal contractors, leading the way for state and business leaders to do the same for workers around the country.

****

March 6

PBO’s first of many chess moves as he announces financial sanctions against individuals and entities responsible for the Russian invasion of Ukraine

****

March 13th

PBO breaks the internet with Between Two Ferns – Healthcare.gov signups surge afterwards

****

March 27th

President Obama in Italia

With Pope Francis, President Giorgio Napolitano and, admirer of PBO, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi:

 ****

November 4th

Campaigning with PBO proves to be a winning strategy:

 Running away from a successful, popular President? Not so much:

 ****

November 11th

U.S. and China jointly announce bold agreement on Climate Change and Clean Energy:

 ****

December 8th

President Obama visits the Colbert Report in Washington and delivers “The Decree”

Stephen ended the interview by asking the question,

“Barack Obama: Great President or The Greatest President?”

Stephen’s conservative character usually asks guests this question about GWB as satire, but this time, sitting across from the great President Barack Obama, he was able to ask it authentically

****

December 17th

PBO announces new Cuba policy:

Conservative Catholics’  belief in Papal Infallibility is tested:

 ****

December 19

PBO trolls the men of the WHPC….

by calling on 8 women reporters and zero men:

 ****

And finally, the moment Dudette posted this pic of PBO on a well-deserved Vacation…

 Be still, my California-girl heart!

****

Happy New Year!

Here’s to 2015, two more years of the Greatest President!


243 Responses to “2014: Madame Soph’s Most Memorable Moments”


  1. 17 GGail
    December 28, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Well, well, well 😀

  2. December 28, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Faaaaaaaaantastic memories Madam Soph, thanks a trazillion for sharing them with us!!!

    • 21 MadameSoph
      December 29, 2014 at 1:15 am

      Thank you for rounding it out with the wonderful pics and YouTubes, especially that PBO chess master one! I had totally forgotten that cartoon but it is PERFECT for the moment!

  3. 22 Judith Fardig
    December 28, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Congratulations to all of TOD for these end of year wrap-ups which inspire us to action! Hi from Seattle!

    • 23 MadameSoph
      December 28, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      Thank you for the compliment above, Judith. I am a Seahawks fan and my good friend just moved to Seattle!

  4. 24 GGail
    December 28, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Oh MadameSoph – what a great and creative compilation! Thank you!!!

  5. December 28, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Wow – Excellent selection Madame Soph!! 🙂 Love love absolutely loved the Colbert Report appearance!

    Congrats GGail on #1 🙂

    • 28 GGail
      December 28, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      Thanks hopefruit 🙂

    • 29 MadameSoph
      December 28, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      Thank you Hopefruit! I know, seeing that Colbert Report appearance by PBO totally put a cherry on my year!

      Not looking forward to PBO having to deal with a crazy Repub Congress, but I am looking forward to him calling them all out with his expert comedic delivery at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner!

  6. 30 vcprezofan2
    December 28, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Merci beaucoup, Mme Soph. C’est de bons moments tu as choisi!

  7. December 28, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    I would love to talk to Alison Grimes, the Clinton Democrat, the one who would not say if she voted for Barack Obama. Any regrets Alison on how you ran your campaign?

  8. December 28, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Are those choppers for real…? (PBO certainly is!)

  9. 36 SUE DUVALL SMITH
    December 28, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    INTERESTING TIMES IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD…SOMEBODY PUT THE RED FLAG UP ON OUR MAILBOX LAST NIGHT…WEREN’T ME…SO LET THE GAMES BEGIN BECAUSE WHOEVER IT IS…THEY ARE FOOLING WITH THE WRONG FEMALE….I DON’T QUIT AND I DON’T BACK DOWN!…HOPE EVERYONE IS HAVING A SUPERB DAY TODAY!!!!!!…AM AT HOME ALL DAY TODAY CATCHING UP ON SOME MUCH NEEDED…AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH TIME!!!!!!

  10. 42 SUE DUVALL SMITH
    December 28, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    I’LL NEVER FORGET THAT DRESS FLOTUS WORE…SO BEAUTIFUL AND SHE IS GORGEOUS…SHE MAKES THE DRESS!…SO GLAD PBO HAS THOSE CHOPPERS OVERHEAD…THINGS ARE TOUCH EVERYWERE AND NOONE NEED TAKE ANY CHANCES ON HIS SECURITY….I’LL ‘SUE’ THEM IF THEY DO! I LOVE MY PRESIDENT!!!!!

  11. 44 sherijr
    December 28, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    You all who’ve put these memorable moments together- are awesome! MadameSoph, Japa, Hopefruit, Criquet, JoB.. and all others- thank you thank you thank you. With my health related memory problems, I just can’t remember stuff like this off the top of my head- seeing all of these ‘moments’ brings it all back to me and I am so grateful to be reminded of what a truly amazing year we’ve had due to President Obama’s hard work and service to us all.

    • 45 jacquelineoboomer
      December 28, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      I’m so glad we all get to remind each other of these beautiful memories! More to come in 2015 and beyond, of course!

  12. 48 SUE DUVALL SMITH
    December 28, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    I HOPE THE PRESIDENT IS ENJOYING HIMSELF TODAY…AT LEAST HE WAS ABLE TO SURF AND WE KNOW HE’S BEEN OUT THERE OFTEN CHASING THAT BALL ON THE GOLF COURSE….I AM REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THE NEW YEAR BECAUSE I DO BELIEVE CONGRESS OR ‘FILL IN THE BLANKS’ WILL BE IN FOR SEVERAL SURPRISES!!!!!

  13. 49 JER
    December 28, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Hello Chips and TOD. Wonderful memories Madame Soph. Thank you.

    • 50 SUE DUVALL SMITH
      December 28, 2014 at 1:32 pm

      I CAN’T SMILE WIDE ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 51 GGail
      December 28, 2014 at 1:32 pm

      Ain’t that the truth!

    • 52 MadameSoph
      December 28, 2014 at 3:43 pm

      Thank you JER,
      Read that article. Wow! I am both slightly troubled by the practice of using volunteer motorcade drivers and also wondering how I can be one 🙂 I have a perfect driving record! If any SS are lurking, I’d love to do my part!

  14. December 28, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Could anyone tell me why I started an attempt at Spring Cleaning on December 28? 🙄

    First Man United are muck, then I nearly die of needing a pee during Danny’s adventure, now this.

    It’s an evil day.

    Back in a bit.

  15. 57 SUE DUVALL SMITH
    December 28, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    I LOOK AT ALL THAT PBO HAS DONE AND AM SO DISGUSTED WITH UNGRATEFUL AMERICAN PEOPLE WHO DO NOT APPRECIATE A GREAT PRESIDENT…HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM…MUST BE HIS COLOR!!!…WELL…IF THEY ARE DISAPPOINTED…I GUESS THEY’LL HAVE TO TALK TO GOD ABOUT THAT!…MAYBE GOD WILL CHANGE PBO’S SKIN COLOR…THEN HE CAN MAKE ALL THE REPUBLICANS HAPPY AND ALL OF THE EXTREMELY DEVOUT RACISTS IN THIS COUNTRY!…I COULD ADD MY SINCERE OPINION TO THIS BUT IT’S FAMILY HOUR!…CHECK BACK LATER…OFF TO FB TO SEE WHAT THE RIGHT WINGERS ARE DOING IN THEIR SANDBOX!

  16. December 28, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    • 59 Nena20409
      December 28, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      Slate?

      Hope this was a Severe Attempt case of an Emoprog joke.

      I can’t imagine why this was even an attempt to any joke or Not…….what a sad Slate.

      • December 28, 2014 at 2:05 pm

        The article actually casts the Obamas as a traditional family. But the clickbait tweet had their picture with “non-traditional”.

        • 61 SUE DUVALL SMITH
          December 28, 2014 at 2:59 pm

          THEY WOULD RATHER HAVE THEM IN SHACKLES!…GOD FORBID IF AN AFRICAN AMERICAN FAMILY IS SUCCESSFUL….GET BACK TO THE COTTON OR TOBACCO FIELDS AND DO WHAT YOU WERE CREATED TO DO!!!!…THAT’S THE TRAIN OF THOUGHT…PEOPLE HAVE NOT GRADUATED FROM THE SCHOOL OF HUMANITY AND THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHO JESUS CHRIST IS…THEY ALSO DON’T RESPECT HIS COMMANDMENT TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

    • 62 99ts
      December 28, 2014 at 5:04 pm

      This is another way that the media turns 180 degrees to show that the Obamas are “different”. Until 2008, traditional families (Mom, Dad and 2.7 children) for the media and the GOP were the ONLY families that mattered. Now that there is a black guy in the white house who happens to have that traditional family – suddenly every other type of family is better.

      The US media – finding yet another way to disrespect the first family – The media matters article on Chuckie the Toad says it all

      “Since the news became a corporate for-profit enterprise, the mission of informing the public has taken a back seat to the idea that not rocking the boat is better for business than telling the truth. Chuck Todd is a symptom of a much larger disease. His explanation perfectly sums up why millions of Americans don’t trust the corporate media.”

      http://www.politicususa.com/2014/12/28/chuck-todd-defends-challenging-republican-lies-meet-press.html

  17. December 28, 2014 at 1:43 pm

  18. 65 jackiegrumbacher
    December 28, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Madame Soph, I love all your choices and images. I’m so grateful to you and the others for bringing so many good memories together here. You are all awesome.

    • 66 MadameSoph
      December 28, 2014 at 3:48 pm

      Thanks, JackieG! I know, I have so been enjoying all of the MMMs and also the picture of the year candidates!

  19. 67 Nena20409
    December 28, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Now the last Picture and with numerous Helicopters hovering up in the air above the Ocean, protecting…….one Handsome shirtless…….the Honorable, Mr. Barack H. Obama is one fantastic Pictorial. 😉

    Awesome post Madame Sophs 😉 In_deed.
    Au ⭐ for GGail 😉

    Now, the ALL Women/Ladies Presser still gives me the proverbial, please proceed, WHPCers huge old 🙂

    • 68 MadameSoph
      December 28, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      Thanks Nena! I know, I LOVE that pic! My friend and her family spend this time of year in Hawaii every year and she has seen PBO’s vacation spot. We grew up with surfers, skateboarders and boogieboarders and she and I both think it is so cool to have a President who boogieboards!

  20. 69 Nena20409
    December 28, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Not a Bad *cough* Picture 😉

  21. 71 Nena20409
    December 28, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    Now, these numbers were good, no doubt.
    As of Today, these Numbers are Great. Come Jan 2nd, 2015…….Drum-Roll, these Numbers will be The Greatest in 16th years……No doubt about it.

  22. 74 jacquelineoboomer
    December 28, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Madame Soph – This is absolutely gorgeous!

    Happy Sunday, TODville!

  23. 75 Dudette
    December 28, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    ROFL! Hi Everyone! I love all of MadameSoph’s memorable moments from 2014, especially that last one! 😀

  24. 79 Nena20409
    December 28, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    • 80 Nena20409
      December 28, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      Chuck Todd and Co make Content and Context oblivious to The Truth

  25. 81 Dudette
    December 28, 2014 at 2:30 pm

  26. 84 Nerdy Wonka
    December 28, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    • 85 SUE DUVALL SMITH
      December 28, 2014 at 3:10 pm

      YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS…..AND AMEN!!!!!!…I WOULD IMAGINE JOHNBOY HAS A GOOD AND SOLID RASH BY NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!…POOR LOSER…FIGHTS DIRTY AND HE WANTS TO BOMB EVERYBODY! IF ANYTHING EVER HAPPENS TO SANTA…YOU’LL KNOW WHO IS RESPONSIBLE!!!!!

    • 87 MadameSoph
      December 28, 2014 at 3:59 pm

      This is huge Nerdy! I wonder if the MSM will give this the in-depth, headline attention it deserves. Yet another promise kept by PBO!

      Nerdy, this also gives me an opportunity to thank you for all of the important information that you bring to TOD, that you live-tweet and that you share with the world! And thank you also for your tireless volunteer efforts during and leading up to the midterms. Texas may not have turned blue this time, but your efforts WILL pay off one day!

      • 88 Nerdy Wonka
        December 28, 2014 at 4:12 pm

        Thanks, MadameSoph.

        Also, thank you for your 2014 Memorable Moments. From policy to fashion, to humor, you made us all remember wonderful game changing moments.

  27. 89 MadameSoph
    December 28, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    Afternoon, TOD! So cool to come in and see my moments featured!

    Chips! That cartoon of PBO playing chess!! I had forgotten that. How absolutely perfect! I felt bad about not finding a pic or YouTube to go with every moment but I’m so glad I didn’t because you found the perfect stuff to round them out.

    Hope your day is improving Chips! I am planning to have a similar day (West Coast Time): take the kitties out, go for a walk and then reorganize my bedroom closet.

  28. 90 JER
    December 28, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    • 91 vcprezofan2
      December 28, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      Is this the twin who had a daughter not so long ago, or is this the other twin?

      • 92 Nena20409
        December 28, 2014 at 4:53 pm

        He is a Twin 😉 . He has a daughter…….she was 4/5 in 2012 at the NC Dems Convention. This Twin is the Sec……who was just sworn in many weeks ago. Now, he has a son……Bless them all 😉

        His Brother, the Representative Castro, he got engaged and had a baby girl many weeks ago too 😉

        Now the complete News on the Handsome Castro Twins 😉

  29. 95 susanne
    December 28, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    madam soph, your choices are superb–thanks so much for these memories. and that dress! pleasepleaseplease can we vote for that picture for best? 🙂

    • 96 vcprezofan2
      December 28, 2014 at 3:55 pm

      Since you guys have had soooo much fun being indecisive 😉 . I’m wondering if we could talk Chips Chica into doing a “FLOTUS 2014” or “FLOTUS FASHIONS” spread right after this polling business is over – you know, like in the first week of January, when not much is happening?

      • 97 vcprezofan2
        December 28, 2014 at 9:35 pm

        I’m back after having a ‘tea’ session of several hours with some unexpected guests! It was fun; more so because I also got a duet musical performance which was *quite* good. (Offspring may have a degree in music but he **rarely** plays music at home, even when I ask.) One of today’s visitors has a beautiful voice(a) and the other is like his grand-aunt(b). So ‘b’ simply asks for some music and ‘a’ offers to sing-a-long and away they went! They didn’t have to ask twice. Très cool!

        So Susanne, I see that several of you WOULD enjoy a FLOTUS 2014 photo spread during the first week of January! 😎 Now who is going to present the ‘petition’ to Chips Chica? I suspect that I ought to keep a low and quiet profile on the subject of photographs, even though I do believe a 2-4 posts photo spread on MO would be terrific! We could do 3 months together, as in Jan to March, April to June etc. and we don’t have to vote on them – just appreciate each look. We could, if we wanted to strain our brains and for the fun of it, have people identify when the outfit was worn, ex; Medal of Honour ceremony, trip to Asia, etc. Anyhoo, it doesn’t hurt to ask – I just don’t think I should be the one asking. 😉

    • 98 MadameSoph
      December 28, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      Susanne, thank you!

      And VC, I second that idea! I would love a FLOTUS photo feature! She is the most elegant and stylish first lady in my memory!

      • 99 susanne
        December 28, 2014 at 4:08 pm

        you are most welcome!
        and this is a terrific idea, from our quiet friend 🙂
        except for the part about not much happening in january– i have a feeling pbo is cranked up and has lots more goodies to deliver in the new year!

      • December 28, 2014 at 5:46 pm

        Dittoooooooo….Thumbs UP

      • 101 idon
        December 28, 2014 at 7:49 pm

        yes yes yes I want that too and maybe a 2014 calendar of PBO/FLOTUS lovenugget momments. One of my favorites is PBO running up the stairs of FLOTUS’ plane just before takeoff. Lord I Love his Love for FLOTUS.

      • 102 vcprezofan2
        December 28, 2014 at 9:36 pm

        😳 My response about a FLOTUS photo spread landed in the wrong place. Ay, me!

  30. December 28, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    @Madame Soph, what a lovely, sparkling, witty, and thoroughly delightful recounting of this marvelous uplifting year of PBO-World. I adore the close-up images of our incomparable and stunningly beautiful FLOTUS in That Magnificent Dress; and the contrast of WolfWins with Two Sourpusses; and what a finish: SuperPope; SuperPBO, Wordsmith Women of WHPC, and a day at the Beach. Thank you!

  31. 105 JER
    December 28, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    • 106 susanne
      December 28, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      this is hilarious. clearly, there is very little news to be reported during the president’s vacation. seems to me, local news outlets could provide the needed coverage and the press pool could stay home. how many times did the president go to the gym? or play golf? these are not matters of national import.

      having said that, some of us 🙂 love to see all the newsy bits!

    • 107 idon
      December 28, 2014 at 8:08 pm

      I’m sorry but is that supposed to be my FLOTUS? as reported in ABC article? confused 😦

  32. 108 JER
    December 28, 2014 at 4:10 pm

  33. 109 MadameSoph
    December 28, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    O.k. just caught up on this a.m.’s post and voted for my fave photos (yay! they are winning so far) Although I didn’t choose it as fave, that chocolate cake photo with PBO made me crave a big chocolate cake with dark chocolate ganache (I think I’ll have to do that for New Year’s now).

    O.k. Looks like I missed Chips. I’m off to take the kitties out and then do some spring cleaning myself!

  34. 110 Nena20409
    December 28, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    NYPD Union should try and Learn that in a Democratic Republic, Police is under the Civilian rule and We The People pay their salaries and insist on the Rules that govern their activities.

    • 111 Linda
      December 28, 2014 at 5:09 pm

      I almost didn’t click on it because it was Gawker…but that is excellent.. and the comments are good too.

      Thanks for posting it.

      • 112 carolyn
        December 28, 2014 at 5:50 pm

        The philosophy and attitude expressed in that letter are outstanding, and should be emulated country over. What a difference could be made. The NYPD, Ferguson, etc. police departments need to read this and take it to heart and put it into action. Bravo to him. And Bravo also to the commenters…..I was pleasantly surprised.

    • 113 MadameSoph
      December 28, 2014 at 6:14 pm

      Thank you for bringing this here, Nena. I was heartened and uplifted by reading his response. We need more like him in law enforcement.

  35. December 28, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    LOVE Love….Madam Soph’s highlighted moments…smilin

  36. 116 Nena20409
    December 28, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    This applies to All, including The News Media. Listen up Chuckles Toad.

    • 117 SUE DUVALL SMITH
      December 28, 2014 at 7:28 pm

      WE HAVE A MORAL FAILURE IN THIS COUNTRY…AKA…IT’S AN EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF ATTITUDE…HATRED OF THE POOR AND THOSE IN NEED OF EDUCATION…ETC…..I TALKED TO A YOUNG MAN TODAY AT CHURCH WHO HAD TO SWITCH SCHOOLS…HE WAS GOING TO ANDERSON UNIV…NOW HE IS GOING TO TECH. SCHOOL…HE COULDN’T AFFORD TO CONTINUE AT ANDERSON…THE WEALTHY DON’T GIVE A DARN…THEY DON’T CARE IF THE KIDS IN THIS COUNTRY ARE EDUCATED AND THEY DON’T WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT KIDS DON’T FALL THROUGH THE CRACKS. THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT EDUCATION…THEY CARE ABOUT THEIR OWN BANK ACCOUNTS. THEY DON’T CARE IF ANYONE GOES HUNGRY OR NOT AS LONG AS THEY STAY OUT OF THEIR OWN FRIDGE…THEY HATE ALL COLORS BUT THEIR OWN LITTLE WHITE SELVES…I HOPE THE PRESIDENT HAS AN AWESOME REST…BECAUSE EVIL IS WAITING FOR HIM TO RETURN. BTW…I HOPE THEY CHECK THE CARGO LIST ON THAT AIRLINER….NEXT!!!!!..P.S….AS FOR MORAL OBLIGATIONS…THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT IN THE HELL THAT MEANS!…MY HEART ACHES AND BREAKS FOR THE SHAPE THIS WORLD IS IN…SHAMEFUL!!!!

  37. December 28, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    I love that dress…FLOTUS is soooooo beautiful…and stylish

  38. 120 Nena20409
    December 28, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    • 121 SUE DUVALL SMITH
      December 29, 2014 at 9:28 am

      THE REPUGNANT THIEVES HAVE BEEN STEALING FOR DECADES…BUT HERE IS MY THOUGHT….GOD HAS AN ACCOUNT OF ALL THINGS…NOONE GETS AWAY WITH ANYTHING….EVER!…IN GOD’S TIME…PAYBACKS ARE HELL!

  39. 122 Nena20409
    December 28, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Remember, on Jan 21st, 2009 what this self loathing man did……..He engineered a Political Coup d’etat on President Obama with 19 of his most divisive and unpatriotic bunch……Gingrich, Coburn, Ryan, DeWitt, etc.

    Their came was what America’s worst enemies wished and had hoped to generate if ONLY they could.

    And Now, this Lying pack of sack says what?

    May Karma visit his Huge arse soon.

  40. 125 Nena20409
    December 28, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    So it was the Daily Show making Us Cynical as opposed to Journalist Not capable of Holding those in power…..who appear on your show…..Lying their pants off ACCOUNTABLE, heh, Chuckles?

  41. 126 GGAIL
    December 28, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    This day is going by too quickly! It’s after 2pm! I have to go to work tomorrow 😦

  42. December 28, 2014 at 5:54 pm

  43. 130 yardarm756
    December 28, 2014 at 6:02 pm

  44. December 28, 2014 at 6:05 pm

  45. 134 Nena20409
    December 28, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    On the Entertainment News.
    Alicia Keys had another baby, this time, A bundle of joy, another BOY 😉
    Chris Rock and his wife of 19yrs are Divorcing 😦
    The News by Huffington Post

  46. December 28, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    “Theoretically, a customs union carries mutual benefits to the member states. However, as the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development noted in a 1988 report, between 1967 and 1988 the customs union between Israel and the OPT treated the two economies as dualisms that entrenched the status quo, which, at that time, had established the OPT as a reservoir of cheap labor and Israel as a production and export powerhouse.

    Importantly, the arrangement allowed for the unrestricted flow of Israeli goods into the Palestinian economy. Since then, the state of the Palestinian economy has only worsened, and its dependence on imports from Israel has deepened.

    The economy is marked by industrial stagnation and the decline of other productive sectors, particularly agriculture, as well as growing trade deficits and a weak export base. The customs union has been key to this process of stagnation, keeping the Palestinian economy industrially weak, underdeveloped, and dependent on imports.

    Such skewed results are to be expected given the vast asymmetry of productive capacity between Israel and the OPT. The harm to the Palestinian economy has been further magnified by Israel’s ability to impose at will, as the occupying military power, a one-sided and inconsistent implementation of the union.”

  47. 141 JER
    December 28, 2014 at 6:22 pm

  48. December 28, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    “The war is over, victory secured. And Afghanistan, once again, has been rebuilt. But for many, life in the restive provinces is much as it ever was. The Taliban are a rampant force. The government’s authority is limited, at best.

    Today saw the US and Nato formally end their war in Afghanistan with a ceremony in Kabul. With it came a new name for the mission in Afghanistan – Operation Resolute Support.

    That support will, said General John Campbell, commander of the US-led International Security Assistance Force, serve as the “bedrock of an enduring partnership” between Nato and Kabul. From New Year’s Day, the mission will be to provide training and support for the country’s military. It is needed. As the conflict enters a new phase, the Taliban have, in turn, adapted. And roadside bombs – easy to assemble, easier to hide and costing a fraction of other weapons – are the Taliban’s new weapon of choice.

    “Every day before setting off for work, I give my three children a big hug. I don’t know if I’ll ever come back,” says Abdul Ghafoor Afghanyar, a specialist in improvised explosive devices (IEDs) who works for the Afghan police in Helmand province.”

  49. December 28, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    Thank you Madame Soph for a lovely spread. Wonderful, beautiful pictures and to begin with Flotus looking as lovely as ever is a wonderful treat.

  50. 155 amk for obama
    December 28, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    a flying pope? who woulda thunk?

  51. December 28, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Apparently – the Twitter problem seems to be confined only to Android smarthphone users and those who also didn’t initially create their Twitter accounts with a “Google” or “Gmail” email account. Not sure how long this problem will last before resolution.

  52. 170 amk for obama
    December 28, 2014 at 9:01 pm
  53. 175 MightyPamela
    December 28, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    Hey everyone, I may never quite catch up, so far behind. Big hugs…. 🐻

  54. 179 GGail
    December 28, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    Is TOD broke now too????

    Hello??????

  55. December 28, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Twitter is now back in business

  56. December 28, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    “It is true that we Iranians live dual lives, and so it is true that to see us in focus, you must enter our inner sanctum. But the inner sanctum includes women who believe in the hijab, fat women, old women and, most important, women in professions from doctor to shopkeeper. It also includes men, not all of whom are below 30 years of age. If you wish to see Iran as it is, you need go no further than Facebook and Instagram. Here, Iran is neither fully veiled nor longing to undress itself. Its complex variety is shown through the lens of its own people, in both private and public spaces.

    For 22 years, since I returned after living in Britain, I have seen women push against boundaries in every aspect of life. We have established a distance between the realities of our lives and how the state wishes us to behave. We have consistently defied official efforts to keep us inside our private spaces, by entering universities and professions in record numbers. But it is also in the sanctuary of our private spaces that we have raised young men and women who now can negotiate conservative cultural norms more smoothly than we ever did before the revolution.

    Many Iranian women still fight for tangible legal equalities; supported by many of our menfolk, we often pay dearly in that effort, whether we wear the chador or the manteau. Showing the world our designer handbags or bra straps does not signify what we have achieved or strive for. Maybe it’s time for the world to stop measuring Iran through the bodies of its women. Maybe we should be careful that, in an effort to repossess our image from the grasp of a strict ideology, we don’t slip into a mindless production of new stereotypes.”

    h/t prrrsiankitten™ @prrrsiankitten for suggesting that it remains essential reading …

  57. December 28, 2014 at 10:12 pm

  58. December 28, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    BTW, have had no disruption of Twitter, Tweetbot or TOD, today. Good fortune not to ever use Google products 🙂

  59. December 28, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    BTW, Twitter’s CEO is being hounded by #WallSt (aka #KOCHSTERS, #KLEPTOCRATS and their scummy minions), so I’ve suggested a simple formula for how he can expand Twitter’s power, have adequate operating capital, and do more good.

  60. December 28, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    I saw on a FB posting that Bernie Sanders will decide by March 2015 if he will run for President…does anyone think that VP Biden will run

    • December 28, 2014 at 11:17 pm

      I don’t think VP Biden will run, but what would be absolutely amazing is if he announced his candidacy with Senator Warren standing next to him and he informed everyone that if he won the nomination she would be his VP choice. I don’t think anyone could beat that ticket.

      As to Senator Sanders, I’d say the same thing that Rand said about Jeb – ‘the more the merrier.’ But, I also think that if Senator Warren announces her candidacy that he’d back off. I don’t think he’d run against a VP Biden, Senator Warren combo, either.

      Yes We Can

      • December 28, 2014 at 11:33 pm

        Why not 🙂

        bbl …

      • December 28, 2014 at 11:34 pm

        I have to ask..Bob…why do you support Sen Warren for President

        • December 28, 2014 at 11:39 pm

          Because she has a crystal clear populist, egalitarian, democratic message & would, without any doubt, expand the empathy-inspired legacy of President Obama, pf58.

          • December 29, 2014 at 12:04 am

            i am not feeling her…but i respect your opinion…i will keep an open mind

            • 211 theo67
              December 29, 2014 at 12:10 am

              I have to agree with you, While Elizabeth Warren espouses really good liberal ideals, I haven’t seen any effectiveness in her to actually get things done, and to be realistically get a large enough following to move the country to follow her. Not everyone is a Democrat, or even as liberal as she is. Until she’s able to express her ideas in ways that the majority of Americans can understand, then she’ll continue to be a liberal darling, but not at all effective or viable as a Presidential candidate.

              • December 29, 2014 at 2:16 am

                Respectfully theo, Senator Warren is no more a ‘liberal darling’ on 29 Dec 2014 than Senator Obama was on 29 Dec 2006.

                She is far wider known on 29 Dec 2014 than Senator Obama was on 29 Dec 2006. Throughout 2007, I was always amused at how many folk with whom I interacted could not properly pronounce his name.

                Her championing of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is, without doubt, one of the most important efforts on behalf of most Americans, ever. And, I have zero doubt that President Obama admires her selfless service to the majority of Americans.

                She is, on 29 Dec 2014, way more feared by the #KLEPTOCRATS & their minions than Senator Obama was on 29 Dec 2006. I’d wager that the Koch Bro paid close to, if not, zero attention to Barack Hussein Obama on 29 Dec 2006. They know Senator Warren is gunning for them, relentlessly. And, they know she is a Woman and she is not Black.

                I’ll leave you with this ….

                … and wish you and your loved ones a prosperous and joyful New Year.

              • 215 57andfemale
                December 29, 2014 at 6:40 am

                It’s time to reclaim Democratic ideals and a Democratic message, with pride and strength We have let the RWNJ’s define us. Warren isn’t some socialist nut – she is a common sense FDR Democrat who sees stabilization of our country through a strong middle class and a country that believes and invests in the commons. This isn’t some radical message – this is the common sense that kept our country stable and growing until Reagan. The problem for the last 30 years is that Democrats have run from what works because the GOP makes the most noise. Warren can appeal the way PBO appeals. We have a lot of work to do to undo Democratic caving to RW memes, but it starts with Democrats like Elizabeth Warren.

              • 218 57andfemale
                December 29, 2014 at 6:44 am

                Theo, Warren has only been in the Senate for a few years, in the most obstructionist Congress in history. I’m unsure what you think she should have accomplished as a junior senator under these awful conditions. The financial consumer protections were a major contribution of hers.

            • December 29, 2014 at 2:04 am

              Appreciate your comment, pf58. Thank you!

  61. 220 amk for obama
    December 28, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    too lazy to scroll all the way to the top? I am.

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/go-to-top/?src=api

  62. December 28, 2014 at 11:32 pm

  63. 227 MadameSoph
    December 29, 2014 at 1:11 am

    Stepping in late. I cleaned my bedroom closet today… Yay! Been putting it off so long.

    Wow! My memorable moments thread has gotten so long!

    Are you still doing spring cleaning Chips? I hope your day improved!

  64. 230 sabreen60
    December 29, 2014 at 1:21 am

    WOW, MadameSoph! Your “moments” are fantastic. And I see I’m not the only night owl 🙂

  65. 232 jacquelineoboomer
    December 29, 2014 at 1:37 am

    Yeah, I don’t see a problem in Cleveland, do you?


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